RE: manager credibility

Subject: RE: manager credibility
From: "Bill Swallow" <wswallow -at- nycap -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2004 21:38:27 -0500


Define virtual team first. Do you mean a team made up of telecommuters? If
so, your question is moot. A manager can be responsible for evaluating the
performance of a remote employee and control that person's salary, but
really, the remote employee is his/her own manager. But I'll play along. ;)

::: In your opinion, what factors would establish, maintain, or
::: diminish the
::: credibility of a manager in a virtual team environment?

Establish/maintain: Acknowledge that the remote employees are
self-sufficient and will need minimal guidance and infrastructure support.

Diminish: Attempt to micromanage the work without reason to do so.

::: What factors would
::: motivate you to "do your best to accomplish tasks"?

A paycheck and trust is all I need.

::: Specifically, while
::: emergent leadership and willingness to communicate are
::: strong factors in co-
::: located teams (the one who talks most and talks loudest
::: usually becomes the de
::: facto "leader"), they are much less so in virtual teams. I
::: would appreciate
::: your opinions on the matter.

What??? The loudest and most-frequent talkers are not the leaders. They want
to be the leaders, and they gain followers who are timid and have no
creativity or willpower of their own. They are bags of hot air commanding a
faithful legion of slugs and maggots.

Good enough? ;) No?

Leaders are doers.

'nuff said there...

::: I think that the overwhelming majority of current managers
::: are incompetent to
::: manage virtual teams, that an entirely different skill set
::: is necessary,
::: particularly with a highly skilled workforce, and that the reliance
::: on "mandated by the powers from above" managerial
::: techniques diminishes both
::: the interest in, and capacity to, learn new methods of
::: management appropriate
::: to a virtual environment. That is detrimental to the
::: organization, to the
::: managers, and to the team members.

If that's honestly what you think then you are entitled to that opinion, but
I am entitled to my opinion that the thought above is baloney. That is, of
course, unless you know every manager in the world and can make such
statements knowing you have the rock-solid evidence to support it. Otherwise
I'll assume you're inflating and gathering your invertebrates for a parade.

::: This is 2004, and a highly competitive global economy.
::: Managerial "techniques"
::: based on the premise that "you have to do what I tell you
::: to do because I'm the
::: mommy" are as obsolete as "my way or the highway." Pushing
::: and leading are
::: fundamentally different activities, and the majority of
::: managers seem stuck on
::: the idea of authoritarian techniques; specifically, those
::: managers are
::: incompetent to manage virtual teams of highly skilled
::: individuals in
::: geographically dispersed locations.

OK... So, did you just get spanked by a remote manager or was there a point
to this question-turned-rant?

Bill Swallow
wswallow "at" nycap "dot" rr "dot" com



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Follow-Ups:

References:
manager credibility: From: Edwin Dahlquist

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